I recently wrote of signing up for the Citi Prestige Card. I mainly signed up to get the 50,000 bonus Citi Thank You points, but another perk of card membership is reimbursement of the Global Entry application fee. Global Entry is a program from the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection. From the Global Entry homepage:
While I do not often travel internationally, the biggest reason I signed up for Global Entry was to obtain a Known Traveler Number (KTN) through the program. The KTN allows you to participate in the TSA Pre✓® program.
In April, I applied for Global Entry on the CBP Global Online Enroll System website. While the interface is not as sleek as most modern web pages and some of the questions and data entry procedures epitomize government bureaucracy, I found the application process to be fairly quick, straightforward and painless. I paid the $100 application fee with my Citi Prestige Card (a credit in this amount appeared on my next statement along with the charge) and I was told to check back periodically for updates in my enrollment status.
Approximately one week later, I was notified of a change in my status to "Conditionally Approved." I was instructed to schedule a 15-minute interview at a Global Entry office. I setup a time at one of the Atlanta offices. The process was very simple on the GOES website. There was a fair amount of availability in the two weeks following my notification. I had to reschedule after I made my first appointment and that was very simple to do online.
I arrived for my interview a few minutes before my appointment time. There were others waiting so I assumed I would be a wait. I was pleasantly surprise to be called within minutes of my appointment time! The interview with the CBP officer was pleasant and consisted of questions similar to those on the online application. He took a photo for an ID card that I will receive soon. I was also fingerprinted. The officer explained the overview of the program, how the KTN could be used for TSA Pre✓®, and what to do if I got a new passport. Very quick and efficient.
I must say I was very pleased with the overall process from completing the online application all the way through the in-person interview. I usually have low expectations when dealing with government offices, but the Global Entry program offered great customer service and far exceeded those expectations. And it with the credit from my Citi Prestige Card, I paid nothing to join the Global Entry program.